Friday, December 30, 2011

BAD RADIO PREACHING ON THE WILL

My wife told me yesterday that she heard a woman teaching on a local Christian radio station. The woman said God had never imposed his will on the will of any person. She is dead wrong. She did not cite any scripture for this, of course, because there is none.
I do not know why Evangelicals, especially Southern Baptists, have come to worship at the altar of free will instead of bowing to God’s sovereignty. They believe man imposes his will on God.

Has God ever violated or overruled a person’s will? Sure. Here are some examples.

1. Pharaoh in Exodus.

The easiest example to analyze is Pharaoh.

God told Pharaoh through Moses to let the Jews go. Pharaoh said no. Pharaoh’s will was that the Jews remain in Egypt in slavery to boost his economy. God sent plague after to plague, including killing his first born son, to break him down and force him to let the Jews go. That certainly qualifies as violating his will. More accurately, God imposed his will on Pharaoh.

Then Pharaoh decided he wanted the Jews back. He sent his army to get them and bring them back. God swallowed them up in a flood. That imposed God’s will on a man’s will.

God even said he hardened Pharaoh’s heart so God could gain glory from him. How did God gain glory? By imposing his will on Pharaoh and showing he is God and Pharaoh is not.

2. Nebuchadnezzar.

Nebuchadnezzar wished to be gloried as the lord of all the earth. Daniel 4 tells the story. He said he built Babylon by his mighty power for the glory of his majesty. The Lord took his kingdom from him, making him act as a beast. Why? So that he would “know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will” (Daniel 4:32. He imposed his will on Nebuchadnezzar to make him acknowledge God’s ability and right to impose his will on him. This right is called God’s sovereignty. Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged it, saying “he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him “what have you done?” (Daniel 4:34-35)

3. Jonah

God told Jonah to go preach the gospel to Nineveh. Jonah said no. Jonah ran in the opposite direction. God sent a storm, had him thrown into the sea and swallowed by a fish (symbolic of death) and only let him out when Jonah acknowledged the Lord. I’d call that God imposing his will on Jonah.

4. Zechariah.

When Zechariah questioned the message of Gabriel, he struck him speechless for nine months. (Luke 1)

5. Jewish Crowd

A crowd tried to grab Jesus and make him king. He vanished to thwart them. He imposed his will to be a servant on their will to make him king.

Another crowd willed to kill Jesus, but he imposed his will to complete his earthly ministry by vanishing from them. (John 8:34-47)

6. Peter

Peter willed that Jesus would not be crucified. Jesus rebuked him and continued to exert his will to die for us. (Matthew 16) Thank you for that, Jesus.

7. Me

God imposed his will on me. He convicted me of my sin and the judgment to come. He drew me to him for salvation. My will was to live for self. His will was for me to live for him. He won. Thank you for that, Jesus.

The Bible tells us the will of men and women is corrupt. (Jer. 17:9) I know it to be true of me. I want many things and would pursue them with reckless abandon if my will prevailed. I want God to violate my will and conform it to his will so it will be pleasing to him.

Thank you for that, too, Lord Jesus.
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